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Data from: Gaining ecological insight on dietary allocation among horseshoe bats through molecular primer combination

Citation

Aldasoro, Miren et al. (2019), Data from: Gaining ecological insight on dietary allocation among horseshoe bats through molecular primer combination, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.hm3v1dm

Abstract

Knowledge on the trophic interactions among predators and their prey is important in order to understand ecology and behaviour of animals. Traditionally studies on the diet composition of insectivorous bats have been based on the morphological identification of prey remains, but the accuracy of the results has been hampered due to methodological limitations. Lately, the DNA metabarcoding and High Throughput Sequencing (HTS) techniques have changed the scene since they allows prey identification to the species level, ultimately giving more precision to the results. Nevertheless, the use of one single primer set to amplify faecal DNA produces biases in the assessed dietary composition. Three horseshoe bats overlap extensively in their distribution range in Europe: Rhinolophus euryale, R. hipposideros and R. ferrumequinum. In order to achieve the deepest insight on their prey list we combined two different primers. Results showed that the used primers were complementary at the order and species levels, only 22 out of 135 prey species being amplified by both. The most frequent prey of R. hipposideros belonged to Diptera and Lepidoptera, to Lepidoptera in R. euryale, and Lepidoptera, Diptera and Coleoptera in R. ferrumequinum. The three bats show significant resource partitioning, since their trophic niche overlap is not higher than 34%.

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